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dressmaking


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One of those trades which has declined considerably over the second half of the 20th century. The occupational lore of professional dressmakers is not well recorded, although the three sources listed below provide some information, including:to jump over a dress when finished is a certain means of preventing its return for alterations. Dressmakers will not fit with black pins, nor tack with green thread. Care is taken not to bring bad luck on a bride by staining the bridal dress with blood from a pricked finger. ‘Unpick on Monday and you unpick all the week’. It is a sign of the worker's own wedding coming soon if she accidentally sews one of her own hairs into a garment of a trousseau. If by chance, in trying on, a new garment is pinned to the customer's other clothes, it is reckoned that each pin so attached means that a year will elapse before her marriage. (Wright, 1928: 36)

to jump over a dress when finished is a certain means of preventing its return for alterations. Dressmakers will not fit with black pins, nor tack with green thread. Care is taken not to bring bad luck on a bride by staining the bridal dress with blood from a pricked finger. ‘Unpick on Monday and you unpick all the week’. It is a sign of the worker's own wedding coming soon if she accidentally sews one of her own hairs into a garment of a trousseau. If by chance, in trying on, a new garment is pinned to the customer's other clothes, it is reckoned that each pin so attached means that a year will elapse before her marriage. (Wright, 1928: 36)

See also CLOTHES, WEDDINGS, PINS.

Wright, 1928: 36;Christina Hole, Folk-Lore 68 (1957), 411–19;E. M. L., Folk-Lore 25 (1914), 371.


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